07/14/2015 1:00PM

Ness stable rebounds from year ago

Tom Keyser
Jamie Ness has already won 122 races in 2015.

In 2014, trainer Jamie Ness won 167 races, 12th best in North America but his lowest total since 2008.

This year, Ness has already won 122 races, and has been the leading trainer at Tampa Bay Downs and Pimlico. He is currently second in the standings at Delaware Park, third at Monmouth Park, tied for fourth at Presque Isle, and is active at the recently opened Laurel Park meet.

Ness trained privately for Midwest Thoroughbred up until last year, but is now taking on outside clients. He led the nation in wins in 2012 with 395, but Midwest has since trimmed back its operation.

During the summer, Ness bases his operation at Delaware Park. He keeps a small number of stalls at other tracks and ships horses in and out to run.

“We’re back up to almost 90 horses now,” Ness said. “I have 75 here at Delaware. This is about as horse-friendly a place as there is. I’ve always liked it here.”

Ness’s new owners include Robert Bone, Gumpster Stable, and Acclaimed Racing Stable.

“I’m enjoying myself more than I did a few years ago,” Ness said. “When the stable was at its biggest, I didn’t really feel like I was training horses. It was more like I was managing things.”

Two of Ness’s most successful runners this year have been Ghost Hunter and Woodwin W.

Ghost Hunter is 5 for 8 this year. He is currently getting a little time off and will be pointed to the $200,000 Presque Isle Mile on Sept. 6. “He’s a synthetic specialist,” Ness said.

Woodwin W, a $12,000 2-year-old purchase, won the first four starts of his career, including the James W. Murphy Stakes on the Preakness undercard. He injured a tendon during the Penn Mile and will be sidelined until next year. “It isn’t a bad injury, but he needs some time,” Ness said.

Ness, 40, has won 2,299 races and has a career winning average of 25 percent. He has won with 27 percent of his starters this year.

“I look for solid horses and do my best to put them where they fit,” he said.